Synthony in the domain Ticket holders are complaining that the event’s postponement has made it difficult or impossible for them to attend, and some were unhappy that the date was changed due to poor forecasting when it was described as an “all-weather event”.
Synthony organizers announced on Friday that the one-day festival, originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 1, moved to Sunday 2 April because of a “poor and potentially unsafe” forecast.
MetService had told organizers in an email she saw Stuff that thunderstorms with a risk of “intense rainfall” were forecast for late Saturday afternoon and evening, and said it would consider issuing a severe thunderstorm watch Saturday morning. Met Service said Sunday was expected to be “by far the better day, weather-wise”.
Synthony’s Facebook page has been bombarded with messages from cardholders unhappy about the postponement.
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Whitianga’s wife Teresa Dodd told Stuff it’s “not feasible” for herself and the friends she was supposed to be attending the event with to make it on Sunday, saying they had about $1300 out of pocket for tickets and hotel rooms they will no longer use.
“Our roads here are pretty shitty at the moment, so it’s taken a lot of planning, and me and my group of friends have been planning this for months now – babysitters, everything. There is no way we would have booked an event that would be changed to a Sunday. We are a bunch of mums who live four hours from Auckland.”
Synthony’s refund and cancellation policy describes the festival as an “all-weather event” that “will take place rain, hail or shine”, but notes that the promoter reserves the right to change the date without notice.
The terms and conditions also state that if Synthony rains out, the postponement date will be April 2, saying “When purchasing, please make sure you can attend both the original date of April 1, 2023 and the postponement date”.
Some cardholders, including Dodd, said they saw nothing about a possible postponement date when booking.
Dodd said she is “very vigilant” about checking terms and conditions before booking, and saw nothing about the possibility of the date being changed in the event of rain.
“Before I clicked ‘buy’ I thought to myself, ‘Okay, so if this is going to be a crashing event like the Six60 thing was, this is how it’s going to be. There was no question of getting my money back or anything like that. So I was heavily committed to it, booking babysitters and stuff. We went rain, hail or shine.”
Wellingtonian Charlotte Knowles had a similar impression, saying she was unaware there was a weather postponement.
“We decided to drive from Wellington to Auckland, and I only found out when we bypassed Cambridge. One of my friends from Auckland heard it on the radio.”
Knowles and her partner have decided not to attend on Sunday, despite having paid for tickets.
“We had to have a serious conversation this morning about whether to stay for the event or cut our losses,” she said. “We have decided to cut our losses because there are just too many extra things to organize when trying to stay for the concert. It’s just not worth it anymore. But that’s a lot of money wasted for nothing. As if life isn’t expensive enough already!”
Knowles said the delay had left her “frustrated” as she had taken two days of annual leave from a new job to attend.
“I will be very careful about booking an outdoor event in the future.”
A spokesperson for Synthony, run by Duco Touring Company, said in a terse statement that “any suggestion that the terms and conditions have been changed is completely false”.
A spokesman said they stood by Friday’s statement and would not comment further publicly.
Ticket holders who are no longer able to attend may request a refund, and it is understood that this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Synthony is just the latest musical event to be postponed or canceled in recent months in New Zealand due to bad weather.
Last October, Six60 postponed their show in Wellington from a Saturday to a Sunday as the capital prepared for wet and windy conditions.
In January, the The Elton John concert has been cancelled less than half an hour before he was due to take the stage, torrential rain wreaked havoc on Auckland.
All tickets for Synthony remain valid and are automatically transferred.
Synthony in the Domain 2023 features a live orchestra, electronic dance music, DJs, performers and impressive visuals over two stages and seven hours.
Kiwi heavyweights Shapeshifter join singer-songwriter Kimbra and Tiki Taane in the lineup.